Patient-Measured Waist Circumference Frequently Too Low

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The false-negative rate of self-measured waist circumference approached or exceeded 20% for some groups.
The false-negative rate of self-measured waist circumference approached or exceeded 20% for some groups.

(HealthDay News) – Self-measured waist circumference has a clinically important false-negative rate compared with professionally-measured waist circumference, according to a study published in the Annals of Family Medicine.

Barbara G. Carranza Leon, MD, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues investigated whether self-measured waist circumference is sufficiently accurate to replace professionally-measured waist circumference. Waist circumference was self-measured at the same visit during which a professionally-measured waist circumference was obtained among 585 women and 165 men.

 

The researchers observed no significant difference in self- and professionally-measured waist circumference but there was a clinically important false-negative rate for the self-measurements. Based on professionally-measured waist circumference, 11% and 52% of normal weight and overweight women, respectively, were in a high-risk category for metabolic syndrome; 57% and 18% of these women, respectively, undermeasured their own waist circumference and fell below the cut-off. Among men, 15% and 84% of overweight and class I obese, respectively, had a professionally-measured waist circumference putting them in the high-risk category; 23% and 16%, respectively, undermeasured their waist circumference.

"Despite standardized pictorial instructions for self-measured waist circumference, the false-negative rate of self-measurements approached or exceeded 20% for some groups at high risk for poor health outcomes," the authors write.

Reference

  1. Leon BGC, Jensen MD, Hartman JJ, Jensen TB. Self-measured vs professionally measured waist circumference. Ann Fam Med. 2016;14(3):262-266. doi:10.1370/afm.1896.
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